• coldwellbanker
  • image
  • Linda Gillam
  • almanor energy

Hall says CAO’s treatment prompted her resignation

Dan McDonald
Staff Writer

Public Health Director Mimi Hall

Public Health Director Mimi Hall said she was extremely dedicated to her job and didn’t want to leave.

The man she blamed for creating a “toxic culture” for county workers, county Chief Administrative Officer Jack Ingstad, said he didn’t want her to go.

Three days after Hall read an emotional resignation letter to the Board of Supervisors, the two separately shared their feelings of frustration.

“I fell apart when I left the room,” Hall said, recalling the moments after she read her resignation letter before an overflow crowd in the supervisors’ chambers. She received a one-minute standing ovation that left some people in tears.

Hall said she was on the verge of tears herself. “I never went to bed that night,” she said. “It was very emotional.”

Hall, who was considered nothing short of a savior by the county for trying to revive the badly needed alcohol and drug program, said her decision to leave may have caught people by surprise. But she said it wasn’t an overnight decision.

“It was based on a lot of years of what I think was not appropriate treatment,” Hall said, pointing to a journal she has kept since 2008 that contained emails from Ingstad and her personal notes about his treatment.

“And what’s important for me to let you know is … I’m not alone,” Hall said. “Everything that I went through, there are a dozen other department heads who have gone through the same thing.”

Hall said the toxic culture created by Ingstad has left county workers feeling unappreciated and fearing for their jobs.

But Hall said she could have endured Ingstad’s harsh treatment “for another 20 years.”

“I could have had the fortitude to deal with this, even though it’s a big pain in the butt,” Hall said. “But I spent the last year really thinking about things other than just the actual work and the actual barriers. It was more about the principle of things.”

She said there were three significant events that led to her decision.

The first event was a bad job review from Ingstad in late 2010. Hall said the poor performance review left her wondering how secure her job was.

“It wasn’t a good review,” Hall said. “(Ingstad) berated me for about 45 minutes about why I can’t get along with anyone.

“I was marked as ‘needs improvement’ and ‘does not meet the basic requirements of the position’ in several areas,” Hall said. “And then I was told to put together a three-month improvement plan, which would be brought before the full board. And if I didn’t meet that improvement plan, I would get my termination notice.”

She said the second big event happened when she agreed to take over the alcohol and drug department. It would mean she essentially would be in charge of two departments.

Hall said that because the previous 13 A&D administrators had either been fired or pushed out, she wanted a six-month severance clause added to her contract.

She said she didn’t want a pay raise or a stipend to take on the high profile and traditionally risky job. Just job security.

Hall said other county department heads, including Mental Health Director John Sebold, advised her to get a severance clause.

“People told me, ‘If you do this (administrate A&D) it will be a career killer,’” Hall said. “They said, at the first roadblock that created some kind of public outcry, I would be gone.

“They said, ‘If you are going to do this, you need some kind of assurance.’”

Hall said she had a meeting to request a severance addendum with supervisors Lori Simpson and Robert Meacher, county counsel Craig Settlemire and Ingstad.

“Jack wasn’t happy about it. He gave all of his reasons why I shouldn’t have it,” Hall said. “But we walked away with an agreement. Lori as board chair asked Craig to draw up the contract addendum. She said ‘We’ll put it on the next earliest board agenda.’

“I waited. Nothing ever happened. And what I had heard was that Jack had sent some emails back and forth to some of the supervisors. And he was very unhappy about it.”

Ingstad said last week he wasn’t opposed to Hall’s severance request and he didn’t try to stop it.

“I thought it was a done deal,” he said. “I don’t know what happened.”

But Hall said she never got the severance clause.

She said the third major event, which she called “the final straw,” was an email Ingstad sent to department heads regarding amendment of their employment contracts.

The email, composed by Settlemire and forwarded by Ingstad, stated “If a department head declines the Amendment, the Board will need to give notice of termination to the employee.”

Hall said that email was “flippant” and indicative of the treatment she has received from Ingstad.

“Things like this were just constant,” Hall said. “Something like this has happened every month of every year since 2008.”

Hall said she and the other department heads know they need to take pay cuts. “And we were all fine with that,” she said. “It’s just the indignant manner in which it was handled.

“And I knew that as long as we had (Ingstad) advising our board and advising how these matters are implemented, that it would continue to be this way.”

Ingstad said he didn’t read the email and regretted having sent it.

He said he was “saddened” by Hall’s accusations against him. He insisted many of them were “simply not true.”

“But I’m not perfect,” he said. “I’m a human being.”

In the wake of Hall’s resignation, Ingstad said he too was prepared to resign.

The Board of Supervisors is reportedly scheduled to discuss Ingstad’s job performance during a closed session after their meeting Tuesday, April 3.

“Maybe it’s time for a new CAO here,” Ingstad said. “I’m going to make it easy for the board. I’m offering to leave if that is what they would like me to do.”

Ingstad said that if he stays, he probably needs to change the way he operates.

“Obviously I need to change if I stay. Or some perception of me needs to change,” Ingstad said. “Because I’m not going to be like the (Plumas Unified School District) superintendent’s office and act like everything’s OK. Everything’s not OK.”

Despite her criticism of Ingstad, Hall said she doesn’t want to see him lose his job. But she hoped her resignation would make the county think about how it treats its employees.

“My goal was not to get rid of somebody,” Hall said. “My hope is just that things will change.

“I didn’t do this to point a finger at someone. I did this because I wanted our board and the county to just wake up and see this is not the appropriate climate. Is this who we want to be?

“And I don’t know what change they will make. But I would hope they make a really intelligent, strategic and thoughtful change.”

The supervisors haven’t accepted her resignation. And Ingstad said he hoped Hall would reconsider.

“We have been extremely happy with Mimi. She is one of our best employees, and I’ve said that,” Ingstad said. “I really thought our relationship was good. And that bothers me, because I must not be quite as intuitive as I thought.

“I almost made a call to her to ask her to stay. But I thought she was leaving for a better job.”

Hall said she isn’t leaving for a better job. It’s just a different job. She has accepted a job in the health industry with a nonprofit company in Reno. She, her husband, Thom, and their three children plan to remain in Quincy.

“I made a commitment to accept the new job and I won’t back out of that commitment,” Hall said.

She also said she had “no hard feelings” against Settlemire for the email that led to her decision to resign.

“Craig said that email wasn’t intended for everyone and I believe that,” Hall said. “He takes direction from the CAO.”


I lived and workes in the county system there checks and balances that don't work never have never will. I have lost everything because of the BoS. Loir I know your a do nothing BoS member as well as all the rest. I lived in the mess and they destroyed lives and families..
Wow.. I am afraid that this is alittle to late. The BoS destroyed the A&D Dept/Program and ppl and now ppl can't even get services because of them. With Directors that were not Quilifed. Only 3 Directors were. H.R. is a lie and the Board is clueless to anything but themselfs..
I find it rather profound, the level of awareness that is taking place in our society. I'd like to see more discussion on the topic: correctional-leaders-blast-county-officials.<br />Nothing like a good recession to wake folks up.<br />here's a quote "We did it to ourselves" Now what?
Amber McMichael Tuesday, 03 April 2012
If you do choose to post here under your real name please make sure that if you *are* a county employee, you are not using county time/computers to do so. LS has a history of going after employees who attack her by claiming misuse of time/equipment. Even when used on break. She's very vindictive.
Organise a push-back to the dredge restrictions.,,Show the State the Great Flood video & then make the case for Mom-Pop dredges in compairison,,Get exemptions for selected areas as a start<br /><br />Push for the Long OVERDUE off-road vehicle trail around Mt. Lassen
Where's the closest place with natural gas? Since this conversation seems to be getting off topic, you can email me at the following address to discuss: Natural gas would be great to have...not sure if it's possible. Thanks
The State just announced thru the central valley there will be elect car charge stations....Get elect car charge staions UP the Canyon & then support eco-tours thru the County with Quincy as the epicenter & a state of the art Cogen to charge em
Bring Nat-Gas to Quincy, for a myriad of reasons<br /><br />Install another Cogen that will buy Green Waste from Locals & could facilitate charging electric cars + eco-tourism & more
Lemming? Might be the nicest thing anyone has ever said about me...since I was elected. Interesting read, these out of town baseball games really cut into my online reading. Things will change for the better,Lori will be an integral part of that change. Been an emotional few weeks. Give us a few...
Will be Jon Kennedy stepping up to plate & be the LEADER we know he can be.<br /><br />Come on Jon..The Citizenry knows your on our side & we are on yours.<br /><br />We know its not your mess, but the public doest want sob story after sob story...We need BOS leadership Now
Lori, you & the BOS didnt see any of this coming at all? Besides accomplishing calling the residents FOOLS for not embracing Uber Garbage-Trucks rattling down our streets...What has the BOS accomplished lately?
Chicken little, the sky IS falling. My next comment will be in the voting booth.<br /><br />END OF STORY.
Enough about you and me. This began as support for Mimi Hall, the apparent victim. This is where it needs to stay. You may have unwittingly written your own performance review here. Frankly my dear, I don't give a d***. By the way maybe I have talked to you about my job and not gotten any support.
Your request that the newspaper supply you with an IP address does smack of an abuse of power. You were only mentioned by name two times in the Bulletin's article and only once by name on my part. Unfortunately you have made this too subjective by mentioning yourself (I) 12 times in your responses.
Whoa, someone is taking this way to personal. I'm only expressing my opnion based on the newspaper's report and quotes. No response from you was solicited. This is not an indictment of your sevice to the county.
Maybe it just Me, though i dont see how 1939 style Mc Carthy'ism of public inquisitions to the IDs of Bloggers, is going to provide ANY of the CRITICAL Forward THINKING this County needs ASAP.<br /><br />Sorry Lori, though seems more & more its you who are living in the past
Failure to bring Natural Gas to Quincy?<br />Failure to see how that could have been producing revenue directly to the County & rid Quincy of overpriced home heating fuel by the 1800s style delivery methods?..
At what point does Bankruptcy come into-play? Certainly it would be easier on the public 1x than having to put-up w/all the finger pointing & sobbing as the County just drys-up..Go BK BOS & then re-negotiate from a stronger position w/o all the DRAMA in the way
County employees have plenty of avenues to go to if they are in fear of losing their jobs, Human Resources, Labor Union, and Grand Jury, and I would encourage any employee to do that. I talk to county employees all the time about their concerns. Please call me 283-0317, cell # 530-368-6110.
As a County Supervisor, I will take any responsiblity for any mistakes or failures on my part, always have, always will. I will release a prepared statement on this matter when I am legally able to.




  • Search area
    • Site
    • Web
  • Search type
    • Web
    • Image
    • News
    • Video
  • Power by JLex
Yellow Pages